How to reduce salt intake daily? This is easier said than done.

Yes!! Even if you know the importance of cutting back on daily salt intake, still you constantly crave a salty treat. So is the reason, we decided to come up with some useful tips to reduce salt intake from your daily diet.

Most of us consume 50% more than the recommended daily quantities of sodium. And, various studies have found that salt stimulates the brain in the same way that cigarettes and drugs do.

As we mentioned in our previous article, salt is addictive. The more you eat salty foods, the more you may crave it.

Why You Might Crave for Salt?

Keep in mind that salt cravings can also be a sign of a medical problem. There are several reasons that might promote salt cravings;

Stress

We always look for comforting foods when we get stressed to feel better. Such comforting foods tend to be high in fat, sugar, and salt. Know how to relieve stress daily.

Poor Sleep

Many studies have claimed that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to make poorer food choices than those who do. It is the same choice of foods when we make when got into stressed situations.

Must read – How to sleep better at night naturally

Any disorder

If salt cravings persist or intensified, you could have an adrenal insufficiency caused by Addison’s disease, or a rare kidney problem called Bartter syndrome.

Excess sweating

The more you sweat; your body may crave more salt. The craving is your body communicating to you that your sodium levels need to be replenished.

The eating habits

Your body is likely to crave salt more if you are eating a high-sodium diet like packaged items or additive foods. You would like to know how to overcome eating disorders.

How to reduce salt in diets

We must consume adequate quantities of safe and nutritious foods that make up a healthy diet including low salt. Improving dietary habits is a societal as well as individual responsibility.

Government strategies

The government should emphasize improving the availability and accessibility of low-salt products. There should be consumer awareness and empowerment of populations to promote “healthy food” settings such as schools, workplaces, communities, and cities.

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Also, the monitoring system should be incorporated related to population salt intake, sources of salt in the diet and consumer knowledge, their attitudes and behaviours.

Individual or at Home level

  • Not adding salt during the preparation of food – preference to home-cooked food.
  • Not having a salt shaker on the table.
  • Limiting the consumption of salty snacks – Read labels before buying packaged items. Items with 400 mg or more of sodium are high in sodium.
  • Salt substitutes are sometimes made from potassium (Consult your nutritionist).
  • Eating more fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Do not use softened water for cooking or drinking.

Choosing a low salt diet over a High salt diet

There are also some seemingly un-salty foods that actually contain surprisingly high amounts of salt. Most of the salt in the modern diet comes from restaurant foods or packaged, processed foods (1).

Meats, Poultry, Fish, Legumes, Eggs and Nuts

High-Sodium Foods

  • Smoked, cured, salted, or canned meat, fish, or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar, and anchovies
  • Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza
  • Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam, and chili
  • Salted nuts
  • Beans canned with salt added

Reduce salt with these Alternatives

  • Any fresh or frozen beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Low-sodium peanut butter
  • Dry peas and beans (not canned)
  • Low-sodium canned fish
  • Drained, water or oil-packed canned fish or poultry

Dairy Products

High-Sodium Foods

  • Buttermilk
  • Regular and processed cheese, cheese spreads, and sauces
  • Cottage cheese

Reduce salt with these Alternatives

  • Milk, yogurt, ice cream, and ice milk
  • Low-sodium cheeses, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella

Must read – How to apply NO-WHITE diet to stay healthy

Breads, Grains and Cereals

High-Sodium Foods

  • Bread and rolls with salted tops
  • Quick bread, self-rising flour, biscuit, pancake, and waffle mixes
  • Pizza, croutons, and salted crackers
  • Prepackaged, processed mixes for potatoes, rice, pasta, and stuffing

Low-Sodium Alternatives

  • Bread, bagels, and rolls without salted tops
  • Muffins and most ready-to-eat cereals
  • All rice and pasta, but do not add salt when cooking
  • Low-sodium corn and flour tortillas and noodles
  • Low-sodium crackers and breadsticks
  • Unsalted popcorn, chips, and pretzels

Vegetables and Fruits

High-Sodium Foods

  • Regular canned vegetables and vegetable juices
  • Olives, pickles, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables
  • Vegetables made with ham, bacon, or salted pork
  • Packaged mixes, such as scalloped or au gratin potatoes, frozen hash browns, and Tater Tots
  • Commercially prepared pasta and tomato sauces and salsa

Low-Sodium Alternatives

  • Fresh and frozen vegetables without sauces
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables, sauces and juices
  • Fresh potatoes, frozen French fries, and instant mashed potatoes
  • Low-salt tomato or V-8 juice.
  • Most fresh, frozen, and canned fruit
  • Dried fruits

Soups

High-Sodium Foods

  • Regular canned and dehydrated soup, broth, and bouillon
  • A cup of noodles and seasoned ramen mixes

Low-Sodium Alternatives

  • Low-sodium canned and dehydrated soups, broth, and bouillon
  • Homemade soups without added salt

Fats, Desserts and Sweets

High-Sodium Foods

  • Soy sauce, seasoning salt, other sauces and marinades
  • Bottled salad dressings, regular salad dressing with bacon bits
  • Salted butter or margarine
  • Instant pudding and cake
  • Large portions of ketchup, mustard

Low-Sodium Alternatives

  • Vinegar, unsalted butter or margarine
  • Vegetable oils and low sodium sauces and salad dressings
  • Mayonnaise
  • All desserts made without salt

The salt intake and its preference can be unlearned. Absolutely, it will take time. Sometimes, it takes about 6-8 weeks to get used to eating food with much-lowered salt quantities, but once it’s done, it’s actually difficult to eat foods like potato chips because they taste way too salty.

Must read – Low sodium than normal is a dangerous condition

The above-mentioned tips to reduce salt intake will surely generate an extra year of healthy life!!

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